Road to the Riches (song)

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"Road to the Riches"
Road to the Riches single.jpg
Single by Kool G Rap & DJ Polo
from the album Road to the Riches
A-side "Road to the Riches"
B-side "Butcher Shop"
Released 1988
Format 12-inch single, 7-inch single
Recorded 1988
Genre East coast hip hop, golden age hip hop, hardcore hip hop
Length 4:48
Label Cold Chillin', Warner Bros.
Songwriter(s) Marlon Williams, Nathaniel Wilson
Producer(s) Marley Marl
Kool G Rap & DJ Polo singles chronology
"Road to the Riches"
"Truly Yours"
"Road to the Riches"
"Truly Yours"

"Road to the Riches" is the second single from American hip hop duo Kool G Rap & DJ Polo's 1989 debut album Road to the Riches. It was released as a single with "Butcher Shop" as a B-side and later also featured on the compilation albums Killer Kuts (1994), The Best of Cold Chillin' (2000), Greatest Hits (2002) and Street Stories: The Best of Kool G Rap & DJ Polo (2013).


The song is semi-autobiographic, rags-to-riches tale, with the first two verses detailing Kool G Rap's youth living in poverty and his life before becoming a successful rapper. The third and final verse warns of the dangers of living a life of crime. In a 2014 interview, G Rap stated that some parts of the song were true, such as him working a low-paying job in a Key Food supermarket and selling crack cocaine, while others, such as his father being a drug dealer, were fictional.[1]

Music video[edit]

"Road to the Riches" was Kool G Rap & DJ Polo's first music video. The video begins with G Rap sitting with his young nephew on his lap, and the boy tells him, "Uncle G Rap, when I grow up, I want to be a rapper and a gangster, just like you". G Rap discourages him, however, saying "no, no, see, you can be a rapper but can't be a gangster. You don't want to be a gangster". The next scene is in media res and shows Kool G Rap & DJ Polo in a courtroom being sentenced by a judge. The rest of the video depicts them as powerful drug dealers, committing various violent crimes, before they are arrested in an undercover police sting and the video ends again with the courtroom scene, as they are led away to prison.

Use in media[edit]

The song was featured on the 2004 video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas' soundtrack, playing on the fictional old school hip hop station Playback FM.


"Road to the Riches" samples the following songs:[2]

And was later sampled on:

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Road to the Riches" (4:48)
  1. "Butcher Shop" (3:44)


Chart (1988) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Rap Tracks[3] 16


External links[edit]